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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the English Henshaw family come from? What is the English Henshaw family crest and coat of arms? When did the Henshaw family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Henshaw family history?

The Henshaw name has descended through the generations from the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. Their name comes from having lived in the settlement of Henshaw in Northumberland, or in the settlement of Henshaw in Prestbury, which is in the county of Cheshire. The surname Henshaw belongs to the large category of Anglo-Saxon habitation names, which are derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads.


Only recently has spelling become standardized in the English language. As the English language evolved in the Middle Ages, the spelling of names changed also. The name Henshaw has undergone many spelling variations, including Henshaw, Henshall, Henshawe and others.

First found in Cheshire where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Henshaw research. Another 139 words(10 lines of text) covering the years 1300, 1628, 1673, 1663, 1608, 1679, 1663, 1618 and 1700 are included under the topic Early Henshaw History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 73 words(5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Henshaw Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


To escape the unstable social climate in England of this time, many families boarded ships for the New World with the hope of finding land, opportunity, and greater religious and political freedom. Although the voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, those families that arrived often found greater opportunities and freedoms than they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Henshaw were among those contributors:

Henshaw Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Joshua Henshaw, who landed in Dorchester, Massachusetts in 1652
  • Benj Henshaw, who landed in Virginia in 1662

Henshaw Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Charles Henshaw settled in Maryland in 1742
  • Benjamin and John Henshaw settled in Boston in 1768

Henshaw Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Vivian Henshaw, who arrived in Charleston, South Carolina in 1831
  • John and Joseph Henshaw settled in Philadelphia in 1840
  • Mrs. Henshaw, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851

Henshaw Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

  • John Henshaw, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750


  • David Henshaw (1791-1852), 14th United States Secretary of the Navy
  • Henry Wetherbee Henshaw (1850-1930), American ornithologist
  • Alex Henshaw MBE, (1912-2007), award winning and record setting famed English test pilot
  • Ernest Henshaw (1870-1950), Australian politician
  • Graham Henshaw (1936-2006), Botanist
  • John Henshaw (b. 1951), British actor
  • Jim Henshaw (b. 1949), Canadian actor
  • Melinda Henshaw (b. 1977), New Zealand yachtswoman who competed for New Zealand at the 2000 Summer Olympics
  • Mrs. Mabel Iris Henshaw, Canadian 2nd Class passenger from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking
  • Miss Mary Constance Henshaw (d. 1915), Canadian 2nd Class passenger from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking


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  1. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  2. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  3. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  4. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  5. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  6. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  7. Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  8. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  9. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  10. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  11. ...

The Henshaw Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Henshaw Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 4 December 2014 at 15:41.

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